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News :: International
30 years of Mubarak Rule: Is Egypt Next After Tunisia?
27 Jan 2011
thousands of Egyptians are demonstrating organized by opposition parties, professional associations of judges, journalists and teachers. Several young people in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Mauritania, had set themselves on fire in protest against lack of employment, lack of freedom, and oppression.
The recent events in Tunisia that resulted in the ouster of former Tunisian dictator Bin Ali after 23 years of authoritarian rule sent shock waves through the spines of many long serving dictators in the Arab world. Drawing inspiration from the revolt in Tunisia, thousands of Egyptians are demonstrating organized by opposition parties, professional associations of judges, journalists and teachers. Several young people in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Mauritania, had set themselves on fire in protest against lack of employment, lack of freedom, and oppression.
Yemenis fed up with their president's 32-year rule demanded his ouster on Saturday in a demonstration that appeared to be the first large-scale public challenge to the strongman. With a persistently high level of unemployment; many educated young Arabs are seeking opportunities outside their countries.
Moreover, as a result of unemployment, "different forms of passive and active violence are on the upswing reducing the spaces for dialogue, conflict resolution and consensus building." Aladdin Elaasar, the author of a recently released book about Egypt and its uncertain future under the 30 years rule of Mubarak, warns that “the ticking time bomb in Egypt is the great number of young, unemployed, unmarried people that constitute a large segment of the population”. The Mubarak’s regime has banned his book. Egyptian society has faced an unprecedented crisis in housing. Young people seeking simply to marry and start a family cannot find a place to live.
The 83 years old President Mubarak plans to run for another 6 years term this year and to have his son Gamal Mubarak inherit him as the next president of Egypt. Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist through oppression, cooptation and cronyism. Only a small elite connected to his regime has benefited. A sense of frustration, hopelessness and repression seems to be haunting Egyptian youth and the older people as well, struggling to make ends meet. The result has impacted Egyptian society in terms of the high rate of drug and alcohol use, divorce, domestic violence, road rage, sex crimes, human trafficking, and corruption.
Between a military dictatorship represented by the Mubarak regime and the fundamentalists who operate underground, some Egyptians lean towards those who raise slogans like "Islam is the solution." Fanatics and zealots have attacked Coptic churches. Copts marched protesting the security authorities' leniency toward the culprits and the scapegoating of their community. "They [terrorist acts] are a response to living under wretched, repressive regimes with few economic opportunities and no political voice. And they blame America for supporting these regimes. The reasons were the same--people disliked the regimes that ruled them and they saw America as the benefactor of those regimes... Perhaps the Middle East will move on a similar path; violence, religious extremism and terrorism," says Egyptian/American sociologist Saadeddine Ibrahim.
Anti-Western nationalism seems to be the predecessor of anti-Western Islamism, as was the case in Iran. "Egypt is the next domino to fall and, as they say, so goes Egypt so goes the Middle East. A pillar of American dominance in that part of the world is about to crumble," says Robert Baer, former Middle East-based CIA operative. –END
Author’s Book: The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dbooks&field-ke
Author’s Articles on The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aladdin-elaasar
About the Author: Award-winning Egyptian/American author and lecturer Aladdin Elaasar was nominated as a candidate for the presidential elections in Egypt in 2005. His campaign gained worldwide media coverage. He is a former professor of Arabic Language and Area Studies at the Defense Language Institute, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Born, raised and educated in Egypt and the United States, Aladdin Elaasar is an expert on Egypt and the Arab World. He has been a frequent commentator on the Middle East on American TV and Radio networks.

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